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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Indians and Pakistanis should know about their past

Readers discuss an Emirati family's recent ordeal in Switzerland, the struggle for freedom and more

The younger generation should know the stories of sacrifices made in the struggle for freedom, says one reader. Asif Hassan / AFP
The younger generation should know the stories of sacrifices made in the struggle for freedom, says one reader. Asif Hassan / AFP

Seventy years after independence, Pakistan and India are on the brink of losing the "Partition generation", their inspiring stories of sacrifice, struggle, hardship and courage and the true essence of independence and freedom (Celebrations are a reminder of a shared history, August 16).

Unfortunately, the new generation attach little value to our freedom heroes. For them, their individual communal identities transcend the ideals nurtured by our freedom heroes.

Pakistan, one of the countries that emerged after Partition, is no longer the same. Today, its society is divided and subdivided into many religious, communal, regional and political factions that are at loggerheads with each other, raising the question of whether the struggle for independence was really worth it. These divisions in our society have given an opportunity to outside entities to destabilise Pakistan. As we celebrate our freedom, we need to remember that it's our unity that gave us the strength to fight for independence and ultimately, achieve our dream.

Bilal Farooq, Dubai

Your editorial was right to point out how important it is to remember India and Pakistan's painful history. Many young people in both India and Pakistan learn about their countries’ past from textbooks and narratives that are coloured by politics. It’s important for them to know that they once lived together as one country, one society and one culture. It is important for them to know how the feelings of animosity that they have towards each other were instilled in them by the colonial power and how generations of Indians and Pakistanis are paying the price for politics.

Nasheed Khan, Dubai

Man arrested in Switzerland did the right thing

The arrest of the Emirati couple in Switzerland is unfortunate, but is not uncommon in European countries and certainly not in the United States (Emirati family tell of dramatic gunpoint arrest while on holiday in Switzerland, August 15). Bu Hamad did the right thing cooperating with police, which probably made the ordeal less harassing than it could have been. I applaud him and his family for the way they reacted under those circumstances. More people should do the same: remain calm, not become combative or belligerent and follow instructions by law enforcement officials. I was on a train from Amsterdam to Berlin and was seized and searched in my cabin, while the distinguished German guy next to me was untouched. After cooperating and letting them rummage through all my things, they finally let me go about my train ride. It was an extreme inconvenience and I felt my rights were definitely violated, but what can you do? Stranger in a strange land.

Jimmy Grant, Abu Dhabi